How does a Light Bulb Work?

By Emma Z. 2011
Incandescent light
  • The incandescent light is one of the many types of lights.
    Incandescent Light bulb
  • It has a thin, curly wire called a filament.
  • When electricity flows through the wire it heats up and gives off light.
  • The glass part of the light is called the bulb. It keeps the air away so the filament won’t burn out for a while.

Fluorescent light or energy saving light
  • A fluorescent light uses
    Fluorescent Light bulb
    70% less energy than an incandescent light.
  • It can last for up to 10 years.
  • The base fills up with electricity.
  • The electrodes produce a stable flow of electrons inside the pipes.
  • The electrodes go and cooperate with the mercury gas, giving off a UV light.
  • Visible light comes when the UV light passes through the phosphor outer covering.

Electrical Discharge Light
  • In an electric discharge light, the light glows when a current motivates the gas until it finally gives of a white heat.

Visible Light
  • Visible light is created when excited atoms calm down and go to their normal, unexcited self.
  • Visible light’s speed was first calculated in 1676 by the astronomer Olaus Roemer. He was Danish.
    Visible Light Spectrum

Ultra Violet Light

Ultra – Violet light
  • Ultra-violet light is another type of light. Long contact with this light can give you a suntan
  • They first realized the effect of the UV light in 1801.
  • They just recently discovered what the effect of UV light has done on living things.
  • You can get vitamin D from the sun, which is UV light.
  • You can also get skin cancer from too much of short – wavelength UV radiation.

Mercury – a silvery metal that is a liquid
Phosphor – metal compounds or earth compounds of various types
Electrodes – a conductor that electricity enters or leaves an object
Conductor – something that allows electricity to pass through
Electrons – a particle with negative energy that is in all atoms

Diagram of the incandescent light

Diagram of how the flourescent light works

Woodford, Chris. Cool stuff and how it works. London: DK, 2005. Print.

Electricity and Magnetism: Current Electricity. Prod. Colgren Communications. Colgren Communications, 2004. Discovery Education. Web. 22 September 2011. <>.

"radiation." Compton's by Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.